Over Awards – Last Chance To Vote!!

Morning everyone, just to let you know that the Over Awards are shaping up nicely, but we could use a few more votes to keep out all of Blimpy’s nominations for Put a Donk On It

If anyone else wants to put forward nominations for album/book/film/disappointment/anything-at-all of the year, then get it to me on snadfrod@gmail.com by the turn of the years tomorrow night.

Blackout Crew at number one? Seriously, you have been warned.

Happy New Year.

Yet Another One Bites The Dust

Freddie Hubbard, one of the great trumpeters of the 1960s, has just died, and so I need to modify my list of musicians whose passing this year meant the most to me. Hubbard, I think, was one of the best examples of the brilliant sideman. His solo records were, even at their best, no more than quite good, but his contributions to the projects of others could be outstanding. Herewith extracts from Fee Fi Fo Fum on Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil (1964), Eye of the Hurricane on Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage (1965) and the lovely Stolen Moments on Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961).

Best (and worst) live music of 2008

My musical 2008 has been defined as much by live music as by albums – I’ve attended more than twice as many gigs as I’ve bought 2008 albums – anyway, here are some of my highlights (and low points) of this year for me.

Most hard-rocking gig by a newish band
Cardiff’s finest, The Reasoning, when they blew the roof off the Limelight Club in Crewe. I’ve seen this band six times this year, and they’ve never disappointed. This one was the best of the six. This band may not be on people’s radar screens yet, but they ought to be. One of their songs is on the #2s playlist.

Most hard-rocking gig by a bunch of grizzled veterans
The mighty Uriah Heep at Manchester Academy 2. They were good the last couple of times I’ve seen them playing greatest hits sets. This time they took the gamble of playing their new album “Wake the Sleeper” in it’s entirety, which might have flopped if the album hadn’t been up to scratch. But with an excellent album, it turned into a triumph.

Most emotionally moving gig
This has to be Breathing Space at Mansfield. This was about two weeks after the death of singer Olivia Sparnenn’s father Howard from a brain tumour. The whole show was intensely moving, especially the final encore of the Mostly Autumn song “The Gap is Too Wide”. Not long after this I lost my temper with a Guardian journalist who insisted that “Amy Winehouse is an icon because she can articulate pain and heartbreak in her songs”. He just doesn’t get it.

Most totally bonkers gig
Has to be The Mars Volta at Manchester Apollo. A three hour set, no support, no interval, and they played right up to the curfew without going off and coming back for an encore. And the whole thing was one continuous jam. Despite owning all four of their studio albums, I recognised very little of what they actually played. It was intense, complex and very, very loud. Even after nine months I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

Worst performance by a so-called classic artist.
Andy Fairweather-Low at the Cambridge Rock Festival. “I’m a great sixties icon – you have to bow down and worship me”. Reminded me of The Kinks at the 1981 Reading Festival in 1981, and not in a good way. Tedious set of 50s and 60s covers, made no attempt to connect with the audience, and gave me the impression he was was playing for the benefit of Radio Caroline rather than the people in the hall.

The gig that didn’t actually happen
Panic Room at the Peel where the power failed, and we didn’t get any music apart from 20 minutes of the support band. Fortunately I did get to see the excellent Panic Room a further three times, and there’s a rematch of the cancelled gig on January 31st next year – see you there?

So what are your live highlights, or low points of the year?

Blurred Vision


Inspired by the news that Blur are to reunite, I thought I’d share this titillating titbit with you all (actually, I just wanted to get another post in before the end of the year). As any of the 115 (have you nothing better to do with your time??) people who’ve taken a peek at my profile will know, I am 3rd from the left on the second row.
Now, folks, get your magnifying glasses out and scan along the third row to the middle, where at about 9th from the left you will discover none other then Mr. David Rowntree, later to go on and drum with aforementioned Britpoppers. Rather embarassingly, seeing as I make my money selling CDs and am supposed to know a wee bit about what’s happening in the world of commercial entertainment, I never realised this until a school reunion a couple of years ago. (No, Mr. R. did not attend – probably had to fly his private jet over the Virgin Islands to keep the engine(s) ticking over – but there was a Lot of Talk…)
Anyways, now I’m up and posting, I’d just like to say a huge THANK YOU! to everyone who’s ever posted on here, because I’ve loved just about everything I’ve ever encountered. Having served the kids their Christmas dinner from my sick bed, I’m now looking forward to trying out my new headphones (thank you Santa!) on the Festive ‘Spill, FP’s Christmas playlist, and finally finally finally getting to hear the podcasts.

Happy New Year to us all!

30 Minutes Over Tokyo – A Podcast

I actually made this quite a while ago, once again just as a means to experiment with the technology, but upon listening, found it way too embarrassing to post and considered re-recording the whole thing, but after procrastinating long enough I decided “ah..bollocks, just stick it up”…so here is my poor first attempt at a podacst.

If you can find your way through my numerous repetitions, umming and erring, near constant stammering and lipsmacking, lower class brogue and general messiness, you should find some interesting music. It’s all Japanese music for this debut (perhaps only!) episode – don’t worry, there’s no Japanoise, it’s all pretty indie-tastic with some 70’s rock (apologies for my throwaway comment about Led Zeppelin!), electro-indie dance and the inevitable garage rock amongst other stuff.

Let us know what you think, all constructive criticism welcome!

30 Minutes Over Tokyo – Part A
30 Minutes Over Tokyo – Part B

What I did on my Winter Vacation

I made a playlist!!

Message From a Black Man–Don Julian and the Larks
Message From a Black Man–The Spinners
Message From a Black Man–The Heptones
Message From a Black Man–The Temptations
Message From a Black Man–The Whatnauts & The Whatnaut Band
RZA–You Can’t Stop Me Now
Anti-Matter–MF Doom
Mos Def–Undeniable

RIP Harold Pinter

The death of Harold Pinter was announced yesterday. Undoubtedly one of the most important literary figures of the 20th Century his loss deprives the English speaking world of one of its most powerful and distinctive voices. The Dumb Waiter is as near to perfection as it is possible for a play to be.

I, for one, will be having a dot dot dot, a pause, a long pause and a silence in his honour.

But I don’t need therapy because I have cigarettes

Most excellent Edinburgh blog and record label Song, By Toad has named his fave song of the year, and by god it’s good. This is the first time I’ve heard it, and so it instantly has had xmas associations attached to it. Extra Spill points cos it mentions Johnny Cash too. 
Merry Christmas all, again! 

Now You Are Pregnant by The Wave Pictures

Time for some Port methinks…..

Happy (belated)Solstice

Not being a Christian but wanting to wish you peole out there a cool yool and a prosperous noo year, here’s a slightly late offering: sure the principle is the same…it’s not the greatest video in the world, but it’s just a reminder that somethings go back to beyond Xtiandom…may your yeahs be yeah and your nos be no…

Ever Wanted Your Own Shop?

I thought this would have been a given, that the site would have been discovered and posted here. Reputedly the oldest record shop in the UK, and one of Skippy’s favourite haunts (pubs, bars and dives excepted). (And, no, I’ve no idea why each link on the site is triplicated, but it very much sums up the ethos of the shop itself)
Why, TFDG, there’s even baby clothes …

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas….

Back in my oxygen-starved internet café amongst the whey-faced festive youths. I really just wanted to say thank you to all of you for lots of fun this year and thanks for a storming musical selection box ably coordinated by Shoey. I loved all of it and think that Sir John of Peel would indeed be proud of us.

By way of a Christmas card, here are some photos of the Christmas market in Europe’s “capital of Christmas”…. I’ll not ‘do a Gremlin’ – you’ve all guessed where it is by now.

And here’s a link to ‘my’ alternative Christmas music playlist. Hand on heart, I think you might like this lot. It’s always debatable as to whether ‘Fairytale of New York’ or indeed that ‘Hooker’s Christmas Card’ may be considered alternative as they even get played in supermarkets nowadays. But they’re in…

Découvrez Kate Bush!

And if, after three glasses of Harvey’s Bristol Cream (which anyone in their right mind would only drink at Christmas…) you really really feel the need to hear some honest to goodness Christmas cheese, well… who am I to stop you?

Découvrez Wham!!

A last Christmas question to go: (Jack Black voice): “Top Three Christmas Films!!” I’m buying them up on Ebay and have ground to a bit of a halt. I’ve got the essential:

  • It’s a wonderful Life – Capra. Clarence gets his wings and George Bailey gets his life back.
  • Bad Santa – Billy Bob morphs from an alcoholic no-hoper to another kind of guardian angel.
  • Love Actually – just for Hugh Grant dancing to ‘Jump’ by the Pointer Sisters. You know it makes sense….

Merry Christmas everybody and… What’s Your favourite???? Bisous FP.

Christmas Playlist

Today is a public holiday over here, nothing to do with Christmas of course (the 25th is a normal working day) but in celebration of the Emperor’s birthday, which gives me time to put together a Christmas playlist.
I’ve always been fond of Chrimbo songs, both cheesy and non-cheesy, but when I checked the old collection, they were all hideously noisy dirty garage rock numbers, so i’ve tried to keep those to a minimum…..unsuccessfully!

Enjoy! and of course Merry Christmas!

The Sonics – I Don’t Believe In Christmas
Ten Benson – Black Snow
Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen
The White Stripes – Candy Cane Children
The 5,6,7,8’s – Rock and Roll Santa
Bantam Rooster – Let’s Just Fuck For Christmas
The Sonics – Santa Claus
Noel – Merry Christmas Everybody
Ten Benson – Snowman-Snowgirl
The Von Bondies – No Chimney In The Big House
The White Stripes – Story of the Magi/Silent NIght

Getting in the Christmas spirits!


xmas spill
merry spill
santa spill
(these were s’posed to have my added wisdom on them…. it didn’t work.. you are all saved)

I’m off to Bar Humbug for a beer (or the fridge)

these songs added to the snowman for any old reason that I’ll make up later:

strange girl
records of a flagpole skater
Essential wear for future trips to space
snow on dead neighborhoods
cold white christmas
Howling christmas
darling (christmas is coming)

Shameful Neglect Of Fine Fife Folkie

Pondering mine and others end of year round ups, it’s become painfully aware that there were a ton of good records that I never got around to getting, for one reason or other, and consequently they’ve missed out of my end of year lists. 
James Yorkston’s LP is one of those. Even though I wrote about him back in September in the still-inexplicably-popular and much searched for post Songs about Scottish Sea Mist. 
I never managed to seek out the record; so I now need to right this wrong. 
Unfortunately I’m in bed ill, so here’s another fab track from him, and I’ll resolve to catch up with 2008 before too much good stuff in 2009 kicks in:


The 1st Annual ‘Over Awards’ – A Template

Another year over, a new one just begun…


…so said some hippy refusenik or other. And in doing so he accurately summed up the passing of one year to the next and marked the fact that now is the time for us – like a set of miniature monkeys with a set of miniature cymbals – to hand out awards, to sarcastically post pictures of Phil Collins with an Oscar and, most important of all, to make lists.

In that spirit, then, I bring you a basic idea for the first ever ‘Over Awards’, wherein we will hope to find whether mildly un-enthusing consensus will be followed (I’m looking at you, Fleet Foxes) or whether we can make a glorious break with tradition and not all vote for what the record company want us to vote for.

To whit, I propose that we decide the ‘Spill albums of the year – what I shall slickly call ‘The Overview’ – in the following way:

With a deadline of the 31st of December, anyone that wants to should compile their top albums of the year, in order of preference, up to a total of ten. Whether you submit three, eight, ten or eighty albums the scoring will remain the same – 10 points for number one, 9 for number two and so on down to 1 point for number ten. Email your list to me via snadfrod@gmail.com (newly minted for the purpose, although too many of you know my true identity already…) and I shall tally all scores and produce a final list as long as may be reasonably typed. I think the system is fair, but am happy to have flaws pointed out in any manner that doesn’t involve scoffing.

I think, for the purposes of scope, that the lists should be limited only to 2008 releases (although I will include Bon Iver, Pitchfork aside) but that could include remasters, special editions, best ofs and live shows. To cover those older albums that people may have discovered and loved this year, I am offering everyone the chance to give one ‘Overtime Nomination’ (this ain’t just thrown together, folks) which I will list in the final presentation as an accompaniment to the 2008 selections.

Furthermore, hoping to provide a wider critical snapshot of us lot, I am suggesting that we throw the nominating open to books and films as well. These are entirely optional categories and could be widened beyond 2008 to include those works that have most defined your year. Here I reckon we should stick to top threes and see what happens. It may not work but the chance of having an Overwrite and an Overact category was just too much to resist…

Lastly, please feel free to submit ideas/winners for any other award you fancy and lets just see where it all goes, shall we? My aim will be to post all the awards over the first few days of 2009, so be sure to get your vote in soon otherwise it’ll just be my list and do you really want to see that set in stone forever more as our collective opinion? Trust me on this one, you probably don’t…

Anyway its Christmas, what else are you gong to do?

Happy voting!